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‘SL military appropriated 30% of land in Jaffna’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 December 2011 12:03 No Comment]

Sri Lankan military occupying the Tamil country had appropriated 30 per cent of the land in Jaffna district alone, under the so-called High Security Zones. What has been given back is only 3 per cent, contrary to what the SL Army wants outsiders to believe. The percentage of SL military appropriated lands still remain 30 per cent or even more with the new lands acquired in the islets off Jaffna, Maathakal and at Ki’laali, says a former senior academic of the University of Jaffna. Speaking to journalists in Jaffna on Friday, the former professor has also warned that the destructive and indiscriminate quarrying of limestone at Kaangkeasanthu’rai (KKS), which is under the High Security Zone, is going to make the groundwater in the peninsula to become saline.

The views of the academic follow:

So far, 30% of the land in the Jaffna district has been occupied by the Sri Lankan military, which demarcated the areas as ‘High Security Zone’ during the war.

Contrary to What the Sri Lankan government wants others to believe, only 3% of the land has been released back to the civilians.

But, at the same time, new lands are being encroached and occupied by the military in the islets of Ma’ndai-theevu, Kaarai-nakar and Oorkaavat-thu’rai (Kayts) for the expansion of SL military bases.

Recent news reports also raise alarm on SL military taking over new lands in Maathakal and in Ki’laali.

When we look at the pattern, while a small percentage of land is released to the civilians, land is appropriated elsewhere to maintain a status quo of keeping 30 per cent or more lands of the Jaffna district under the so-called HSZ-occupation programme.

Meanwhile, large-scale quarrying of limestone is reported in KKS area which still remains as a HSZ.

The quarrying is going to affect the potable water of the masses in the peninsula, he said.

The Jaffna Peninsula depends largely on the limestone bed for the preservation of rainwater into groundwater.

At the time of the initial opening of the KKS Cement Factory, there was a restriction to quarry only at a maximum depth of 2 feet. But, now the indiscriminate quarrying has reached the depth of two palmyra trees (120 – 160 feet), he said.

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